Afternoon Miscellany

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–A federal judge in Phoenix issues a preliminary injunction against sections of the state’s new immigration law, set to go into effect at midnight. Said Judge Susan Bolton: “There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens…By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”

–The DNC presents the “Republican Tea Party Contract On America.” Sen. John Cornyn blasts Democrats for practicing “the politics of fear.”

–Christopher Beam examines the semiotics of taxes.

–So far, there’s no deal in place that would enable the Democrats to avoid an embarrassing public hearing into ethics violations allegedly committed by Rep. Charlie Rangel.

–Be sure to check out our interactive timeline of the BP spill.

–A reporter covering the Blagojevich trial, which heard closing arguments this week, says he’d vote to acquit.

–And Michael Kinsley is holding a “Boring Article Contest.” Any suggestions? (I suspect it will take fewer than five comments before a witty member of the commentariat nominates this one.)